Shelby sets up NOL title chance

Shelby sets up NOL title chance


Shelby sets up NOL title chance


Shelby's Devon Brooks breaks some tackles during their game Friday night against Ontario.

Shelby’s Devon Brooks breaks some tackles during their game Friday night against Ontario.

SHELBY — Devon “Shorty” Brooks had the game of his career Friday night and the 5-foot-7 sophomore running back helped Shelby stay in the hunt for a Northern Ohio League championship with a 46-13 victory over Ontario.

The win means Shelby, 5-3 overall and 4-1 in the NOL, will travel to Bellevue next Friday night and play the Redmen (5-0 NOL) for the league title.

Ontario (2-6 and 2-2 NOL) came to town geared to stop Whippet sophomore quarterback Brennan Armstrong, so Shelby turned to Brooks to pick up the slack. Brooks did more than that, rushing for 263 yards and five touchdowns on just 13 carries in the first half. Shelby built a 46-13 halftime advantage, which meant the second half would be shortened with a running play clock.

Brooks finished with 291 yards rushing on 19 carries, but neither team scored in the shortened second half.

“Devon runs hard,” Shelby coach Erik Will said. “But the bottom line is our offensive line played great tonight. They did their assignments and opened some huge holes. And now this proves that all of the hard work we have put in pays off.

“We had a meeting back in February and I told all 63 guys back then, if you want to be NOL champions, you have to do all three phases (offense, defense and special teams) well. If you believe that come week nine of the season, we can go up to Bellevue and play for a league championship, we will.”

The Whippets did all three phases well against Ontario.

On the second play of the game, Brooks bolted 80 yards for Shelby’s first touchdown and a quick 7-0 lead 21-seconds into the game.

Devin Tuttle intercepted Ontario quarterback Alex Vredenburgh on the Warriors’ first play from scrimmage and Brooks made it 14-0 on a 2-yard touchdown run with 8:14 to play in the first quarter.

Ontario was forced to punt on its next series and Derek Rose stormed through the line and blocked the punt. Tuttle scooped up the ball and returned it 18 yards for another Shelby touchdown, making the score 21-0.

The Warriors then scored on a 59-yard run by Vredenburgh and the Whippet lead was 21-6.

Brooks added a 46-yard touchdown run with 47 seconds remaining in the first quarter for a Shelby 27-6 lead and finished the opening quarter with three touchdowns and 141 yards rushing on six carries.

Armstrong scored on a 13-yard run with 8:20 to go in the second quarter, but the run was nullified because of a penalty. Two plays later, Brooks scored his fourth touchdown of the half on a 6-yard run. That scored moved Shelby in front, 33-6.

Ontario closed the gap to 33-13 on a 23-yard touchdown pass from Vredenburgh to Treyvan Jordan with 4:33 to play in the second quarter.

It took Shelby just four plays to answer that score. Brooks broke loose for a 56-yard touchdown run with 2:44 to go in the quarter for a 40-13 lead. That run gave the 160-pound back 263 yards on 13 carries and five touchdowns in the first half. But on the ensuing kickoff, Brooks recovered an Ontario fumble, which set up a 38-yard touchdown run by Armstrong for a Whippet 46-13 halftime lead. Armstrong had 83 yards rushing on eight carries in the first half.

Ontario got into Shelby territory twice in the second half but turned the ball over on downs both times.

For the game, Shelby rushed the ball 30 times for 389 yards and gained just five yards through the air, good for 394 total yards. Ontario gained 219 yards rushing on 36 carries and Vredenburgh completed 8-of-24 passes for 117 yards, giving the Warriors 336 total yards. Vredenburgh was Ontario’s leading rusher with 74 yards on nine carries. Ontario lost two fumbles and suffered one pass interception.

The Warriors will be at home next Friday facing Sandusky.


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